Things have gotten out of hand at Palm...
It has reached the point where a company once regarded as one of the most innovative in the field is regularly dismissed by competitors. The latest example came on Sept. 5, when Motorola Inc. acting Chief Financial Officer Thomas J. Meredith praised Apple Inc.'s touchscreen iPhone as a great innovation worth copying. Too bad the Treo introduced users to the touchscreen more than five years ago. Likewise, few remember that in 2003, the Treo 600 delivered many of the same bells and whistles as Apple's recent entry: a built-in camera, music and video player, and the ability to fetch e-mails and dial directly from a contact list.
Today, even the most ardent Treo fans seem ready to give up. Palm Inc. has used the same operating software, with minor updates, for five years. It is struggling to get a major new version out this year. In the meantime, rivals have delivered new software that's far more multimedia-friendly. No wonder Palm's net income in the most recent quarter plunged 43%, to $15.4 million.
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